Kentucky Republican Rep. Andy Barr, whose campaign attacked his 2018 Democratic challenger for raising money and spending time “out in Hollywood with elitist liberal movie stars” will raise money in Hollywood himself next month.
An invitation obtained by McClatchy welcomes donors to a “California Weekend” April 5 to 8 at the elegant Peninsula Beverly Hills on behalf of Barr-PAC — otherwise known as Building America’s Republican Representation, a political action committee that benefits Barr.
The invite notes a bloc of rooms has been reserved at the hotel and asks for contributions of $3,000 to the political action committee or a $2,000 “personal” contribution.
The five-star hotel, a favorite among celebrities, bills itself as an “exclusive oasis in The City of Angels.” Rooms at the hotel start at $595 a night and its amenities include meeting spaces described as “high-profile Hollywood style.”
Barr’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Barr narrowly won re-election last year, beating back an aggressive challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has talked with McGrath about a 2020 challenge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McGrath has not commented on the race and her campaign did not respond Friday to requests for comment..
Barr, who won 51 to 47.8 percent, is already a top target for Democrats looking to widen their margin in the House in 2020. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has included Barr on its initial list of 2020 targets and Emily’s List, a Democratic group that promotes women candidates, has named Barr and McConnell as two of its top targets.
Barr’s 2018 campaign and ads sought to portray McGrath, who grew up in Northern Kentucky and only moved to the district in 2017 after years in the military, as an outsider out of step with Kentucky values and supported by elite Hollywood liberals.
“McGrath collected liberal cash at fundraisers in New York, Boston and Hollywood,” charged one ad, Follow the Liberal Money. Another ad shows a picture from her 2017 interview with comedian Chelsea Handler.
While 90 percent of McGrath’s money in the Democratic primary came from small donors, including 4,000 Kentuckians, Barr’s campaign seized on the fact that 80 percent of her larger itemized donations came from outside Kentucky and 75 percent of her small donations came from people in other states.
“Their nominee needed her Hollywood and San Francisco friends to get her through the primary and now she wants to bring those liberal California values to Kentucky,” a Barr spokeswoman said at the time.
The Kentucky Democratic Party was quick to call Barr a “hypocrite.
“Andy spent most of 2018 dodging the issues and instead attacking his opponent for raising money in California,” said Marisa McNee, a spokeswoman for the party. “I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that a guy who supported a massive giveaway to the super-wealthy and big corporations would be rubbing elbows with the super rich in Beverly Hills.”